As women, in today’s society, we have more responsibility than ever, and we’re expected to excel in every role. That is not realistically possible. We are expected to be great girlfriends, great employees, be a support system to friends and family. And that’s just the single life.
Now, if we choose to become mothers, the strain of it all is further compounded. Many of us care for the children, maintain the household, the family schedule, and work outside the home. All we pray for is a fifteen minute nap that our toddlers won’t let us have, because someone needs a third cup of chocolate milk.
I understand that it is part of being a member of a family, community and a society, but there is a clear imbalance of emotional labor and responsibilities inside and outside of the home. This puts women at a disadvantage, leaving us to carry the brunt of the work. It also increases the risk for mental health issues.
Unfortunately in many homes, while dad is on his fifth nap in three hours, mom is running circles around him. At that moment, I get a burning desire to scream “Fire,” just so that I can snuff the enjoyment out of that nap. Maybe he can stop dreaming about whatever is making him smile in his sleep.
I am aware that some women are fortunate to have men who help to a degree of satisfaction in the home, but for the most part, many women do not. There has to be a shift in the culture and I know that is going to take time—hopefully not too much time.
Then, we have to deal with the Judgmental Judys who always need to comment about your parental choices. They question your choice between breast milk or formula. Okay Judgy Judy, you should be happy that I fed the kid, but nooooo, you need to tell me about all the developmental issues that people who don’t breastfeed can cause their children.
In case you did not know Judy, I’ve been breastfeeding since July 2015 and stopped recently. I have the breasts to prove it. I also do not need any recommendations. I’ll decide what is best. Considering some of the questionable crap my kids and other breastfed kids do, I am not sure it helps reinforce your point.
Then we have the single married moms. Quite the oxymoron, but it is a real status that so many women go through resulting, in resentment, anger and sometimes depression. It would almost feel better to be a single parent, rather than lug dead weight. This can sometimes be repaired, but that may not always be the case.
Some days, I would like to wake up and have my toddlers make their own breakfast, but I can’t. It may comprise of cereal bars, potato chips and caramel popcorn, which I am sure the kids would like it. Unfortunately, since I want children who have healthy, balanced diets, I do everything myself.
So to anyone overwhelmed by motherhood, work and friendships among so many other things, know you are not alone. I had a good cry in the bathroom at work three days ago, took a mental health and healing day yesterday , and I am now ready to go back to work. Let it out ladies. Have an ugly cry if you need to, take a couple of breaths and hopefully you find comfort in conversation with a friend or professional therapist.
And try to get a fifteen minute nap. You earned it
(Photo, Getty Images)